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Something Hidden: Stories    by Elaine Margolis order for
Something Hidden
by Elaine Margolis
Order:  USA  Can
Peppertree Press, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Elizabeth Schulenburg

Something Hidden is a diverse collection of short stories about people on many different paths. The 13 stories in the collection deal with subjects that range from a young boy's first crush on a much older (and larger) woman; the death of a son who has followed a path his parents would not have chosen; a woman watching helplessly as disaster strikes her home remodel; and a trip to paradise that introduces a world that seems so much easier than our own.

The Exchange is a modern-day ghost story, about a woman recently widowed. Returning to her neighborhood after extensive travels, she becomes obsessed with a painting on the wall at a new acquaintance's home. When the painting is offered to her, she finds out that her obsession has unforseen consequences. The Crystal Café tells the story of Mica, a young girl growing up in a mining community with her single mother. Mica is curious about her father, and tries to pry the details of his life from her mother, who is too busy bartending to answer her questions. A tragedy in the bar leads to a change in their circumstances, but leaves Mica wondering even more about her elusive father.

Elaine Margolis has written a lovely set of short stories collected together for the first time. Her eye for detail and insight into the workings of the human mind make each narrator seem alive and real, despite their varied circumstances and settings. The common thread running throughout the stories is longing, and she illustrates the numerous longings of the heart with compassion. This is a collection that will appeal to many readers, and I encourage you to look for it.

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